Ramadan Preparation: Ten tips to prepare your family for Ramadan
01. Buy all necessities for the month of Ramadan before Ramadan so you can spend less time during the holy month rushing around. You can be more focused on your religious rituals and spiritual development. Everyone in the family, even the kids, can participate, writing a shopping list, preparing some meals to be stored in the freezer.
02. If you have gotten into bad sleeping habits throughout the year, start readjusting now so you can wake up for Fajr prayer.
03. Sunnah fasts of Shaaban (the month before Ramadan) help to prepare for Ramadan and help to make the transition into the holy month a smooth one.
04. Reduce TV watching and prepare the family for the new spirit of Ramadan. Engage with your kids more and more in creative activities that remind them of Ramadan. (Suggested activities including reading the moral story books in group).
05. Organize your tape/CD collection to make it easy to select and to play nice nasheed (Hamd/Naat) to sing along together or Quran and Dua recitation, so as to introduce the spirit of the month gradually.
06. Plan ahead for the time you are spend at home in order not to lose the balance between your responsibility as a parent to supervise the children's studies and your engagement in religious practices such as reading Quran and praying Salat.
07. Plan ahead if your daughter needs a hijab to accompany you to the mosque. If possible, get shoes for the kids that are easy to tie when they leave the mosque. Do you or the kids need prayer rugs for prayer? Plan transportation to the mosque and back home.
08. Prepare as much cooking as you can before Ramadan. Here are some time-saving tips:
Prepare some vegetables and store them in the freezer to have them ready when needed.
If you soak dates in milk or water and eat them for Iftar, pit the dates before Ramadan.
Chop onions, garlic and store them in the freezer to have them ready when cooking during Ramadan.
09. If you are planning to invite guests for Iftar, the best time to do that is during your monthly period (menstruation). This has several advantages:
You will be able to taste the food that is going to be served.
You won't be engaged in some acts of worship so you'll have more time for cooking.
You won't have guilt feelings for staying after 'Isha' with the guests and not going to the mosque.
10. Prepare your kids before Ramadan that they have to help you more in housework and in setting the table and preparing the Iftar. Relate their action with the notion of Sadaqah and good deeds. Remind them that the reward of their good deeds is multiplied during Ramadan.
Adopted from islamonline.net with slight modifications.